What Business Can Learn From the Military

The retired four-star general overhauled communications for troops in Afghanistan. Today, he's a speaker who thinks business has a lot to learn from military management styles.

What's the Latest Development?

Retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal recently spoke at a business conference in Washington D.C. about his leadership style and what the military knows about managing a successful business. Communication, he said, is the key. "McChrystal is noted for having spent his commander's discretionary fund not on better guns, but on purchasing bandwidth so that all the nodes of his network could communicate with each other." The ex-general also spoke on etiquette, noting that the tone of communication is important. 

What's the Big Idea?

Since offering his resignation to President Obama for making some off-the-cuff remarks to Rolling Stone magazine, McChrystal has taken his leadership experience into the public sector. He recommends business leaders own their mistakes, just as he says he accepts full responsibility for his career-ending gaff. Perhaps he has learned that communication etiquette can be as important as the message itself. When writing emails, says McChrystal, it is important to explain yourself properly rather than replying with a pithy "OK". 

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

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In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
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